“An adorable arrival: Makena and newborn elephant Grace Ithumba Stockades on a September morning”

Makena Embraces Motherhood
In the wee hours of September 10th, 2021, Makena graced the Ithumba Stockades with her adorable newborn. The new mother was beaming with joy and pride as she held her little one by her side.

It’s heartwarming to see Makena and her former orphan companions come back to Ithumba where they grew up, especially as she prepares to give birth to her first child. We’ve seen this happen before with our ex-orphan mothers, and we never fail to appreciate these beautiful moments. It’s amazing to witness the love and trust they have for the men who have taken care of them, and it brings us immense joy. Being able to experience this kind of intimacy with so many of our ex-orphans now living in the wild is truly a special gift.

We were in for another delightful surprise on that particular day. The atmosphere was electric, with several former orphan elephants milling about. Nannies Sites, Ishanga, and Mwende (who is herself an ex-orphan and the first offspring of Mulika), along with Mulika and Mkuu, Yatta and her youngsters Yoyo and Yetu, Loijuk and Lili, Kinna and Kama, all gathered at the Ithumba Stockades to welcome a new addition to their family. It was a joyous occasion, shared by both the elephants and their caretakers.

Makena, a baby elephant, was rescued by rangers in Ol Ari Nyiro in North Western Laikipia when she was less than a month old. She was found alone with no sign of her herd, and it remains a mystery why she was separated from them. Since September 20, 2005, Makena has been taken care of by the Nairobi Nursery for three years until she was moved to the Ithumba Reintegration Unit with Lenana and Chyulu in 2008. All three of these elephants now live in the wild and are mothers. Lenana had her first baby, Lapa, a year ago, while Chyulu welcomed her calf, Cheka, in November 2020. Makena has become a nanny to both their babies, which is excellent preparation for her new role as a mother. The baby elephant has been named Mumo, which means peace in the local Kamba language. Updates on Mumo and Makena will be available soon, but for now, let’s celebrate this joyous occasion together.


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